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Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

James 4:1-10 & Mk. 9:30-37

The values of Christianity are so different from those of the world.
This was a lesson the disciples of Jesus had to learn. In today's Gospel they can be seen as typical human beings in whom ambition like a deadly leech had taken hold.

On their way to Capernaum, outside of Jesus' hearing, they had been arguing about who was the most important. Each wanted to be at the top because they thought that Jesus was going to establish a worldly kingdom in which they would be bathed in luxuries as were the Romans occupying their land. How could they think this when Jesus had told them that He Himself would be put to death? Obviously these words of His had not penetrated their minds.

So Jesus had to make His message more explicit. “If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last to all and servant of all." Next He exemplified His lesson by embracing a little child, an action not entirely lost upon His disciples, because welcoming a child in this context meant becoming his equal, to be like him in humility and simplicity. We can see from the Letter of St James that he learnt this lesson when he wrote in the first reading, "Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up."

Here we have clear proof that Christianity’s values are so different from those of the world. Don't we all want to rise in glory with the Lord on the last day? This will only happen if we try to be humble and of service to others, not looking upon ourselves as a cut above anyone else. Should we have more gifts than others Iet us never fail to thank God for them. They all come from God. As Saint Francis says, “Our only true possessions are our sins.”

Lord Jesus, help me to be one who serves others, because this is what you want of me. In this way I can be certain I shall always be close to You.

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